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My video on the Bally Professional arcade


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#1 Glen's Retro Show OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 6, 2016 6:20 AM

https://m.youtube.co...h?v=NkCJouRu7Pg

#2 Chris++ OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 8, 2016 2:13 AM

Great job! There's a couple of niggling factual errors, but that's just picky stuff...I enjoyed your video and watched a couple others on your channel. One of the coolest things I've ever seen is the game-playing on the side of your house!

 

And, of course, Tron...it gives a whole new meaning to, "Look, Yori! The walls!"

 

 



#3 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 8, 2016 6:23 PM

 

That was a fun video to watch. Your Bally Arcade has absolutely the best RF that I've ever seen.  How did you manage to not get the scanlines (those typical rolling bars) in your video?

 

Thanks for mentioning the BallyAlley.com website!
 

It would be neat to see you play a few BASIC games in a video.

 

Adam



#4 Glen's Retro Show OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 9, 2016 5:19 AM

Guys... thank you very much I really appreciate it. :)

Chris please tell me what I was wrong about so I can make sure I can make Corrections. :)

Hi adam.. thank you and of course no problem I always try to inform others of great places like ballyally.com,:)

You know you're about the 20th person was asked me that I'm simply using an LG G4 phone in auto mode and so far when I record a CRT which is much more amazing than LCD I get no rolling or weird scanning on the screen.

I will be doing another astrocade video soon

Edited by moonlight23, Tue Aug 9, 2016 5:22 AM.


#5 Chris++ OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 9, 2016 3:59 PM

Nothing big...your enthusiasm about the console far outweighs any pedantic discrepancies that an old-console fanboy like myself might notice. Since you asked, though, there are really only two corrections I would suggest: the Gorf and Wizard of Wor coin-ops came out a couple of years after the Bally Professional Arcade did, whereas you give the impression that they already existed when the console appeared; and the Atari 2600 actually has 128 bytes of RAM. In the latter case, I think you actually meant to say that, rather than saying K. The structure of your sentence indicates that it was just the sort of verbal typo that we all make from time to time. So: no big deal! I'm just glad to see someone making high-quality Bally console videos.

 

 



#6 Glen's Retro Show OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:49 AM

100% right on the 128 bytes..mental booboo.. I can text correct that one.and on gorf and wow.i didn't know that..but was my assesment on the board basic design right on shared motherboard tech? I can text correct that too.


Chris, thank you for the positive feedback :)

I do plan more vids on my girls..

Edited by moonlight23, Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:51 AM.


#7 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:17 AM

was my assesment on the board basic design right on shared motherboard tech? I can text correct that too.

 

The motherboard of the Bally/Astrocade does have a have a very similar "look and feel" to Midway's 1978 arcade game Sea Wolf II, although I'm not sure how closely the home console's system's PCB is in comparison.  I'd like to explore this on the Bally Alley Astrocast.

 

In 2008, someone took some pictures of their Sea Wolf II motherboard using their phone.  The pictures are tiny and a bit blurry... but they're all I've got to offer you for comparison.  Here's an example of the Sea Wolf II PCB:

 

AstrocadeHighResCommercialMainboard1.jpg

 

You can view all the pictures of the Sea Wolf II motherboard here:

 

http://www.ballyalle...ea_wolf_II.html

 

If you know of better-quality pictures of the Sea Wolf II PCB, then please point me to them!

 

Just like the Bally Arcade console, the Sea Wolf II arcade game uses a single motherboard.  Some of the later games, like Gorf and Wizard of Wor used several PCBs in a cage.  For example, here are the PCBs for Gorf:

 

Gorf PCBs (Cage)_01.jpg Gorf PCBs (Cage)_02.jpg

 

Here are the PCBs for Wizard of Wor:

 

wizard-wor-boardset-cage_1.jpg wizard-wor-boardset-cage_2.jpg

 

Interestingly, I couldn't find a good picture of the Astrocade's motherboard online.  I'll have to do something about that!

 

For a complete list of the arcade games that use the Astrocade chipset, see this "article:"

 

http://www.ballyalle...rcade_games.txt

 

I'd love to get my hands on an arcade board of Sea Wolf II because that's the easiest way to get a hi-res "Astrocade."  At least, the closest that I'm likely to get to one-- as I don't expect that John Perkins's upgrade hi-res Astrocade unit (owned by Ken Lill) is likely to be available anytime soon.  The unit, which has an upgrade operating system, doesn't work, but pictures of the system's PCB are here:

 

http://www.ballyalle..._Astrocade.html

 

"Moonlight23," your video has started a fun thread!

 

Adam



#8 Glen's Retro Show OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:22 AM

Adam thank you for all the additional information here.
I'm glad because I really do feel that the astrocade gets short changed in so many ways.
I talked once to Ken about two or two and a half years ago about one of my well actually both of my non-working units we were talking on the phone he was going on vacation and I never was able to get back in touch with him after the fact who is just great talking with him in all the information he had. I've been a long time reader your website glad to finally say hello :-)

Edited by moonlight23, Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:24 AM.


#9 Glen's Retro Show OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:42 AM

I can probably get a photograph of the two motherboards I have one too early or motherboard and one that I believe the later version of the motherboard I'll try and take the best of the pictures I can and get them to you

#10 Glen's Retro Show OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:08 PM

Also Adam, made corrections to the video :) thank you :)

#11 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:49 PM

You know you're about the 20th person was asked me [how I didn't record the video and get a black bar on the screen] I'm simply using an LG G4 phone in auto mode and so far when I record a CRT which is much more amazing than LCD I get no rolling or weird scanning on the screen.

 

My experience shooting video with my camera has caused me to get the black bars every time.  Just in case you don't know what I'm talking about, here is a short test video that I uploaded back in 2013:
 

Maybe I should try recording video with my iPhone...?
 

I will be doing another astrocade video soon


Cool!  How about a review of a few AstroBASIC games?  There are hardly any reviews of those games.  Even just loading up a video art program, as a demonstration of AstroBASIC, would be a start.  Or make a video of playing a proper two-player game of The Incredible Wizard, as we'll be covering that on the Bally Alley Astrocast #5 podcast.

 

Chris++ and I will be playing and talking about that Incredible Wizard fellow tonight!  (Don't tell Chris, but I might just accidentally shoot him.  Gosh, I hope that doesn't happen.  What a shame that would be!)

 

Adam



#12 Glen's Retro Show OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:55 PM

Hey Adam.

Yea I knew what you meant about the black bar screens when recording a CRT or even an LCD for some reason this LG G4 phone just does a really good job and seems to sync... it's really strange because I've always had the same issue when using any other camera.

You know I've actually never tried to use the cassette interface in my astrocade basic cartridge I will have to try it,,,, and I'll be more than happy to give it a go on a video and I'm sure I can get my son involved and do a wizard of wor video :-)

is there a Facebook page or anything for your astrocade podcast?

#13 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:33 PM

is there a Facebook page or anything for your astrocade podcast?

 

Yes, there is a Facebook page... but I'm new to Facebook and I've not really posted anything there:

 

https://www.facebook...93653064007619/

 

For now, your best bet to find out more about the Astrocast is to see the libsyn page:

 

http://www.ballyalle....libsyn.com/rss

 

Chris finished editing Astrocast #4 last night.  I plan to make the show notes and upload that episode tomorrow.

 

Looking forward to any video that you make with your son playing The Incredible Wizard!

 

If you need any help figuring out how to load "AstroBASIC" games, then let me know.  I find it's easiest to load the WAV files directly from my iPhone into the tape-input port on the "AstroBASIC" cart.  If you've never played any BASIC games on the Bally system, then I suggest you hop on over to the current Astrocade High Score Club and start playing the current game: The Pits:

 

http://atariage.com/...devil-the-pits/

 

Chris and I review Sea Devil and The Pits in Astrocast #4.

 

If you've got an Astrocade, then you may as well use it to its full potential.  By that, I mean, you've got the BASIC cart-- give it a whirl!

 

Adam



#14 Glen's Retro Show OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:24 PM

Sweet..,yea i may need a few tips on bally basic...but be glad too :)

#15 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:32 AM

Sweet..,yea i may need a few tips on bally basic...but be glad too :)

 

For the most part, nearly all "AstroBASIC" program are loaded with:

 

:INPUT;RUN

 

After that you press the GO key (which is Bally BASIC's equivalent to pressing Enter).

 

Adam



#16 Glen's Retro Show OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:00 PM

I will give a try tonight..then make a vid

Adam thank you :)

#17 Glen's Retro Show OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:26 AM

Humm..
So bally basic, and astro basic are not the same?

#18 Komb' OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:38 AM

Bally BASIC is the original cart that required the 300 baud interface to save tapes.

 It has only one array. Can access the calculator functions through the $ command and must use the &(n) sound ports directly.

 

Astro BASIC is the later cart with the 2000 baud interface built in.

 It has 2 arrays, no $ functions and the two letter 'Music Processor Commands'. Which require you to set NT=-1 for the older style &(n) sound commands to work properly.

 

Most type in programs for Bally BASIC will work fine in Astro BASIC. More if you remember to set NT=-1 if it is using the &(n) sound commands.

 

Tapes of course, have to be converted, as they are not only two different speeds, but Bally BASIC dose an ascii dump to tape and Astro BASIC does a complete RAM dump to tape.

The RAM dump save can give a nice loading screen.



#19 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:48 PM

So bally basic, and astro basic are not the same?

 
Correct.  "Comb" has already given you a fantastic answer to your question.  He covered some of the major differences between the two BASICs.  One that he skimmed over is that "AstroBASIC" runs a little bit faster.  I've seen it estimated that the speed increase as about 20% faster-- but for some games, it makes it seem much faster (and better!) than that.  I'll help expand "Comb's" answer with pictures and some links:
 
The original Bally BASIC cartridge looks like this:
 
Bally BASIC (Bally).jpg
 
"Bally BASIC" cost about $50 when it was finally available in September 1978 (about a year after the Bally Home Library Computer was announced for sale, and nine months after it shipped).  You could not save or load programs without the tape interface, which cost an additional $50.  This interface allowed you to save at 300-baud-- it was pretty slow... but 300-baud was the standard for microcomputers at that time.  In fact, Bally BASIC uses the original KCS (Kansas City Standard).  To load or save a program that used all 1.8K or RAM takes about three minutes.
 
The 300-baud tape interface looks like this:
 
Bally 300-Baud Tape Interface_01.jpg
300 Baud Interface (Front).jpg
 
Here is a link to the original Bally BASIC Manual:

http://www.ballyalle...ual_(ver_2).pdf

Many archived programs for Bally BASIC are available here:

http://www.ballyalle...d_programs.html
 
Archived programs for both Bally BASIC and "AstroBASIC" are just WAV files that have been zipped.  Most of them have also been digitally archived using various archiving tools available here:

 

http://www.ballyalle...hive_tools.html

 

The later release of "AstroBASIC" (about 1981) is actually also called Bally BASIC, but since it is different in so many ways from the original Bally BASIC (1978), some name needed to be used to differentiate it from the original release of BASIC on the Bally Arcade.  The biggest difference is that the old 300-baud external tape interface is no longer needed.  "AstroBASIC" has the 2000-baud interface built-in, as can be seen here:
 
Astro BASIC (Bally).jpg
 
The 1981 version of Bally BASIC is usually called "AstroBASIC."  I use quotes when I refer to "AstroBASIC" because the cartridge was never actually called that.  Some people also call the 1981 version "Astrovision BASIC."  The Astrocade newsletters never really settled on a proper name for this later BASIC and usually referred to it as "new Bally BASIC."
 
"Comb" touched on most of the differences between Bally BASIC and "AstroBASIC."  Here is a near-complete list of all the differences between Bally BASIC and "AstroBASIC:"
 
http://www.ballyalle...bally_basic.txt
 
The "AstroBASIC" manual has nearly the same content as the original manual, but there are many additions, including a chapter ("lesson") on creating sound and music using three-voices and and appendix that includes programs originally published in the Arcadian and Cursor newsletters.  Finally, the "AstroBASIC" manual has a machine language program that you can type in so that you can load 300-baud programs using the "AstroBASIC" cartridge and then save them in the 2000-baud format.  I use this very program to this day when I archive Bally software-- it's extremely useful!

The complete "AstroBASIC" manual is here:

http://www.ballyalle...r)(300 dpi).pdf

Hundreds of 2000-baud "AstroBASIC" programs are available here:

http://www.ballyalle...d_programs.html

 

Why not download a few of these programs and give 'em a go?

 

Adam



#20 Glen's Retro Show OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:54 PM

Ohhh ok.. I have that ladt one bally basic ...aka astro basic

Thanks guys..will review a few tape games soon

#21 Glen's Retro Show OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:55 AM

Sorry for the delay.. Hope to get a basic game review up soon..dam life getting in the way lol..

#22 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:25 PM

Sorry for the delay.. Hope to get a basic game review up soon..dam life getting in the way lol..

 

For those who may be waiting for more Bally Arcade/BASIC videos goodness, I've managed to capture the Bally BASIC Demo cartridge running.  You can view the video and other information about the cartridge, here:

 

http://atariage.com/...demo-cartridge/

 

Adam



#23 Glen's Retro Show OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:27 PM

Sweet..thank you Adam

#24 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:21 PM

Sweet..thank you Adam

 

Heck, if I'm gonna add one video, than I may as well add another, right?

 

Here is a link to the thread where I just posted a video of the Bally Dealer Demo:

 

http://atariage.com/...demo-cartridge/

 

I made a short title for this video that includes a picture of the Dealer Demo cartridge.  I should have done that for the Bally BASIC Demo too, as that cartridge is pretty odd (it has a chain attached to it!).

 

Adam



#25 Glen's Retro Show OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:22 PM

Yes..one is fine...two is Devine :)




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