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Intellivision Keyboard Component Emulation

Intellivision Keyboard Component emulator

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#26 nurmix OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:25 AM

 

A 4-track cassette recorder? They were very popular among musicians and DJs.
 
     -dZ.

Yep. I had a couple in the late '80s / early '90s. Both from Tascam. In the later days of using them, I'd put SMPTE timecode on one track, and an external sync box would lock whatever was on tape to my MIDI sequencer. Kind of a pain, but this was before multi-track digital recording on computers was a readily available (affordable) thing. I still have a drawer full of 4-track master tapes, but don't have the recorders any more.




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Edited by nurmix, Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:28 AM.


#27 Games For Your Intellivision OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:19 AM

I wasn't saying that NOBODY has them, but they aren't common items in everybody's house. I've never owned one, nor did I know of anyone who has except for Frank, except now I guess you two guys. 

 

I'll try and put Frank in touch with Alex.



#28 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:23 AM

I wasn't saying that NOBODY has them, but they aren't common items in everybody's house. I've never owned one, nor did I know of anyone who has except for Frank, except now I guess you two guys. 

 

I'll try and put Frank in touch with Alex.

 

 

That's fine.  I just was letting you know that they can be acquired.  I've seen plenty of them on E-bay, and they are still being sold in second-hand stores.  On a pinch, you can get one easily.

 

     -dZ.



#29 Rev OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:53 PM

I'd rather have a TR-808 drum machine. :-)

#30 DZ-Jay OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:28 PM

I'd rather have a TR-808 drum machine. :-)

 

Had one of those too.  Got it now emulated on a Mac and on the iPad, along with the 909 too.

 

     -dZ.



#31 Rev OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:45 PM

How about an intv version of TR-808. Make it so.

#32 nurmix OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:19 PM

An original good condition TR-808 fetches more money today than a CIB Keyboard Component.

There, I brought it back on topic!



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#33 Games For Your Intellivision OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:01 AM

From my understanding, "Super Football" originally came from Dan Blitz....therefore, it is possible (likely) that Frank already has a dump of the tape. I'll double check with him on that.



#34 Games For Your Intellivision OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:12 AM

Frank reports that he believes that he has a dump of Super Football already!



#35 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:42 AM

Does anyone have a good page about the keyboard component detailing all the known programs and maybe some screenshots? It has always interested me.

#36 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:52 AM

https://m.youtube.co...h?v=5UfAiXP3E-s

I think this is a video of the actual keyboard component demonstration tape. Notice the high res text overlayed black jack and space battle with instructions to hit the space bar. Its an interactive demo. The stock charting software in the demo was never released. I think the voice narration is playing through the keyboard component. There is another early Mattel video that uses a mockup of the keyboard component.

Does anyone have a fully working keyboard component? Thats why this emulation project is so great.

There's a screen shot of Super Football in the 1980 brochure you can see at the link below. I think its a mockup.
http://www.intellivi...u_Catalogos.htm

Edited by mr_me, Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:01 AM.


#37 Games For Your Intellivision OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:58 AM

https://m.youtube.co...h?v=5UfAiXP3E-s

I think this is a video of the actual keyboard component demonstration tape. Notice the high res text overlayed black jack and space battle with instructions to hit the space bar. Its an interactive demo. The stock charting software in the demo was never released. I think the voice narration is playing through the keyboard component. There is another early Mattel video that uses a mockup of the keyboard component.

Does anyone have a fully working keyboard component? Thats why this emulation project is so great.

 

I saw a working Keyboard Component running the demo tape at CGE at the Intellivision Productions booth a number of years ago.



#38 intvsteve OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:16 PM

Does anyone have a good page about the keyboard component detailing all the known programs and maybe some screenshots? It has always interested me.

 

In my dreams! :D



#39 Knarfian OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 3, 2017 4:16 PM

Happy New Year everyone!  This is Frank Palazzolo and I just wanted to chime in on this thread.  The tape images I am working with came from Dan Blitz's collection, which eventually was sold to Alex Pace.  I used two different systems to do the dumps - initially I used a "Gen 1" simple stereo cassette player with two passes.  The "Gen 2" system I did consisted of a TASCAM 4-track player/recorder which I modded, working with a data acquisition system.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to dump everything with the "Gen 2" system, however.  So, I do have recordings of "Super Football", as well as other tapes mentioned on the internet.

 

You would think I have all the data I need - but some of the cassettes had some damage, and the system I cobbled together back then wasn't perfect.  I am going through the images now, recovering and verifying the data with some python scripts and by hand as needed.  I'll post a link soon with the list of images, and their status as far as recovery goes.  I may need help with image recovery at some point - and it may be worth trying to re-acquire some of the images eventually.  But I don't even know which ones at this point.

 

So far I have recovered 3 images in their entirety - Family Budgeting, Geography Challenge, and Crosswords1.  I haven't run the last 2 in an emulator yet.  Can't wait to try it though :)

 

I am upgrading the emulation in MAME as well, so that it can run the various programs.  I believe the emulation of the BASIC programs is complete - I just need to get it back into a recent build of MAME.  Emulation of the assembly programs, Physical Conditioning, Conversational French, etc.  will probably need some more work in MAME to run properly.

 

Thanks for all the interest - I'm glad to be working on something again that people want to see :)

 

-Frank



#40 mthompson ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 3, 2017 4:38 PM

Frank: Thanks for posting your update here and giving us some info about your work. I'm excited that we may finally get to see what some of this software was designed to bring to the Intellivision experience.   :thumbsup:  :thumbsup:



#41 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 4, 2017 8:11 AM

The KC BASIC rom file can be found here (thanks Frank).  https://github.com/m...ree/master/orig

 

You can find the mame intellivision/kc system roms at one of those rom sharing sites.  To load the basic rom in mame, first press "scroll lock" to change keyboard emulation, and then "tab" to bring up the menu that lets you load a rom file (use cartridge 2 or 3).

 

edit:

no support for tape images yet; so you have to type in your own programs


Edited by mr_me, Wed Jan 4, 2017 8:26 AM.


#42 Knarfian OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:11 AM

I wanted to give a quick update to this forum.

 

I have been actively working on restoring the tape images I made so long ago, as well as trying to get the emulation going.

 

In addition to the 3 BASIC programs I mentioned in the last update:

  • Family Budgeting
  • Crosswords 1
  • Crosswords 3

I finished restoring the data for:

  • Data Cassette (formatted tape for saving your own BASIC programs)
  • Physical Conditioning

And I have partially finished:

  • Conversational French

So far, the error-correction coding layer on the tapes appears to have been good enough to support full restoration(!) 

 

To get things to run in the emulator, I basically need to:

1) Remaster the error-free (hopefully) data into new 4-track .wav files.  (Python script)

2) Add support to MAME for the tape drive.  In the last week, I added skeleton support for loading tape images.  I hope to have partial emulator support for the tape drive soon.

 

I will continue to post updates here.

 

-Frank

 

 



#43 intvdave OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:45 AM

I wanted to give a quick update to this forum. ...

 

 

This is exciting news Frank!!!! Thank you for the update!



#44 nurmix OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:01 AM

That's fantastic, Frank! Your hard work on this is appreciated!


Sent from my Keyboard Component using Jack's Conversational Intelli-talk cassette

#45 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:41 PM

I wanted to give a quick update to this forum.
 
I have been actively working on restoring the tape images I made so long ago, as well as trying to get the emulation going.
 
In addition to the 3 BASIC programs I mentioned in the last update:

  • Family Budgeting
  • Crosswords 1
  • Crosswords 3
I finished restoring the data for:
  • Data Cassette (formatted tape for saving your own BASIC programs)
  • Physical Conditioning
And I have partially finished:
  • Conversational French
So far, the error-correction coding layer on the tapes appears to have been good enough to support full restoration(!) 
 
To get things to run in the emulator, I basically need to:
1) Remaster the error-free (hopefully) data into new 4-track .wav files.  (Python script)
2) Add support to MAME for the tape drive.  In the last week, I added skeleton support for loading tape images.  I hope to have partial emulator support for the tape drive soon.
 
I will continue to post updates here.
 
-Frank
 
 
Is it possible to take your .wav file (or even an original KC cassette) and reproduce a KC cassette with standard audio cassette equipment and audio cassettes. I'm thinking there's more than a few people that have KCs but no cassettes.

Edit: My understanding is that one difference between a KC cassette and an audio cassette is a KC cassette doesn't have the plastic leader. Is there any reason a regular audio cassette couldn't be used?

Edited by mr_me, Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:29 PM.


#46 Knarfian OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:25 PM

Physically, the tapes are not much different from ordinary cassettes.  The leaders would need to be transparent so that the "end of tape" detection (photodetector) would work.  They do seem to come in widely varying lengths.

 

The issues with creating new tapes:

 

A) We need fully remastered images.  (I am working on it.)

B) You would need to use a 4-track recorder capable of recording all 4 channels at once.

C) There is an issue with the way ordinary recorders work.  There is a generally a DC-blocking filter (usually a capacitor in series) in an audio channel, which causes some distortion of the waveforms.  It's not clear right now if modifying the recorder would be necessary to make it work or not.   I will probably do a post in the near future to illustrate this.

 

Another way forward would be to make a solid-state replacement for the drive (and probably the tape drive interface board) itself.  The interface is a simple 20-pin header connector, which I have fully documented.  (I am currently playing around with an Arduino connected to mine.) It would be possible in the near future to use something like an Teensy3.5 board to with a small touchscreen to replace the whole thing.

 

Of course, if you could put the whole KC on a cartridge...but one thing at a time... :)

 

-Frank







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