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TREASURE COVE now available for sale - Check it out!


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#26 ballyalley OFFLINE  

ballyalley

    Stargunner

  • 1,372 posts
  • Location:Albuquerque, NM

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 9:36 AM

Not sure the colors were right, but between the S-video mod and those TV being for the European market, it's hard for me to know the "right" colors.


The colors in the photos look correct to me.  You can use this video review of Treasure Cove to check more closely:

 

 

 

If anyone know a workable replacement for the PSU, contact me. I played it for 2 hours, and when I stopped, the PSU was burning hot. As I was worried about, it doesn't take the 50 htz very well.

 

I've probably had 8-10 Astrocade systems over the years: power supply always get really warm to generally hot.  I wouldn't say mine ever gets "burning hot."

 

The voltage requirements of the Astrocade are unlike any other console.  Here is the short section called "AC Adapter Repair" from the Bally/Astrocade FAQ:

 

"AC Adapter - The hardwired AC adapter may fail over time and spares are difficult to find.  Unplug the AC adapter when not in use, or use it with a switched power strip (notice how the AC adapter is warm even when the Astrocade is switched off?  That is because it IS still working).  The wires at the plug may become broken over time due to chaffing (heavy transformer weight on a wire).  If this happens, you can break the glued sealed case by wrapping the transformer cube in a rag and "tapping" with a hammer.  Then clip the broken wires and splice/solder the intact wires.  Then re-glue the case.  NOTE: If you
have to remove/replace the AC adapter, it does not matter which way the plug is connected inside the console."

The FAQ goes on to say that "If you have electronics knowledge, then you might consider building a substitution."  The FAQ recommends this article:

 

Matte, Michael C. "Experimenting with Your Astrocade: A Power Transformer Substitution." ARCADIAN 7, no. 4 (Aug. 15, 1986): 92-93,91.

 

Here is a direct link to the article:

 

http://www.ballyalle...e_4.pdf#page=36

 

As an aside, I've been in recent contact with Michael Matte, the article's author.  He recently retired and has been getting back into the Astrocade.  Michael also has one of only two Astrocades that I'm aware of that have been upgraded to hi-res mode.  He based his upgrade, which he created in the mid-80s, on the UV-1 computer.  Michael recently tested his hi-res Astrocade; it still works fine.

 

I received my Treasure Cove cartridge two days ago, but I haven't opened it yet.  I think that I'm going to make my very first "unboxing" video using Treasure Cove.

 

BTW, "CatPix," it's really cool to see an Astrocade being used in Europe!  If the colors are correct, then I presume that you're using a TV that can use both NTSC and PAL standards, right?

 

Adam



#27 CatPix ONLINE  

CatPix

    River Patroller

  • 3,337 posts
  • Location:France

Posted Wed Jun 7, 2017 9:25 PM

Thanks you. It's really an unique system. And I'm not sure that many made the travel across the big pond :D

Part of the issue is that it's a fragile, unknow system, and with little mods available, displaying the video signal on an European TV is a pain.

For your question about standard, many European TV sets, at least the high end and middle range ones, sold during the mid-90's and later were multistandard able to display PAL and NTSC (and SECAM in France and neighbouring countries that speak French, even if they used PAL standard, such at Belgium and Switzerland).

However, those TV usually only accept NTSC signals from composite source, not RF. I tried on many TV. Some TV can tune on a NTSC signal, and some even get a very decent picture, but no one I found have the correct sound interval, meaning that you can get a picture, but no sound.

 


 

Here is a direct link to the article:

 

http://www.ballyalle...e_4.pdf#page=36

 

As an aside, I've been in recent contact with Michael Matte, the article's author.  He recently retired and has been getting back into the Astrocade.  Michael also has one of only two Astrocades that I'm aware of that have been upgraded to hi-res mode.  He based his upgrade, which he created in the mid-80s, on the UV-1 computer.  Michael recently tested his hi-res Astrocade; it still works fine.

 

Mine was really hot. Maybe not enough to inflict a burn, but more than hot enough for my fingers to tell me "it's too hot", so, over 40°C (104F) Which I consider being an innacceptable hot temperature for power supply.

I don't think the pwoer supply is bad, but that the transformer isn't taking too well to get a 50htz frequency instead of 60 htz.

 

Thanks you for the article. It's interesting! As I suspected, you can make the lower tension from the larger one.

This certainly explain why some later power supplies pictures I have seen simply state "12 volts".

I guess I'll run some tests to see if I can make the console works in a reliable fashion (hah!) with what I can get here.



#28 ballyalley OFFLINE  

ballyalley

    Stargunner

  • 1,372 posts
  • Location:Albuquerque, NM

Posted Thu Jun 8, 2017 7:50 AM

I'm not sure that many made the travel across the big pond :D

 

I have most of the letters that were sent to the Arcadian newsletter.  I also have all seven years of the mailing lists of everyone who subscribed the Arcadian. There were certainly some readers abroad, many of whom seems to be American soldiers stationed overseas.  In one of the Astrocast podcasts, I mention a reader in New Zealand-- that's pretty far for the U.S.  The only official areas that the Bally Arcade/Astrocade was released was in the United States and Canada, but the system did get into Mexico, South America and at several countries in Europe and the Middle East as far back as the late 1970s and early 1980s.  I guess where videogames are concerned, there will always be people looking to get interesting hardware!
 

However, those TV usually only accept NTSC signals from composite source, not RF.

 

The topic of getting a composite signal out of the Astrocade came up recently in a thread begun by Carl Mueller Jr.  He lives in Japan (which does use NTSC), but those TVs don't tune to channel 3, so he couldn't get a picture from his recently purchased Astrocade.  You can read the whole thread here:

 

http://atariage.com/...-a-japanese-tv/
 

Rather than read the complete thread, I've quoted myself for the easiest (though certainly not the cheapest) way to get a composite signal from the Astrocade:

 

I use the Ambery RFCM2 demodulator to convert my Bally's RF to composite.  It looks like this:

Ambery_RFCM2_Demodulator.gif

It's a small box that takes RF as input and outputs composite video and audio.  Here is a link to the webpage where you an buy it:

http://www.ambery.co...fcotocovi1.html

This demodulator costs $85, but it's worth it.  I use it to capture the audio from my Astrocade for use on the Bally Alley Astrocast podcast.  I have also used this hardware with my Atari 7800.  The cool thing about this device is that it somehow cleans-up the audio.  My audio output from my Atari 7800 via RF is full of hiss.  When I run it through the demodulator, the hiss is gone.  In fact, I don't use the 7800 without this demodulator.  The composite output from the Ambery demodulator is fair: it's not improved from the RF input (how could it be?), but it's not noticeably worse either.

 

As for your comments on your Astrocade's power supply: it certainly does sound like it's getting way too hot!

 

Adam

 



#29 bah OFFLINE  

bah

    Moonsweeper

  • 308 posts

Posted Sat Jul 1, 2017 1:11 PM

Hi all,

Treasure Cove is back in stock at 2600connection, see the link in the first post. This is still a game and manual in an original Astrocade box.

bah




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