Jump to content

Photo

ColecoVision/ADAM misc scans, third party controllers, and other stufff


60 replies to this topic

#51 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

HDTV1080P

    Dragonstomper

  • Topic Starter
  • 879 posts

Posted Thu Aug 2, 2018 7:52 PM

 

Micro Innovations never released a power supply for the ADAM computer as far as I am aware. Many companies did not want to touch this issue. However, with 1MB and 2MB memory expanders hooked up to the ADAM along with other devices, the ADAM printer power supply could not output enough power. Some mail order companies in extremely small QTY’s developed external third party power supplies for the ADAM computer. They used an old ADAM power cord and converted a factory new 230WATT power supply so that it worked with the ADAM computer. This 230watt power supply was more than enough power to power anything hooked up to the ADAM including 2MB memory expanders and anything else located in the 3 internal slots. Also the 230watt PC power supply had a on off button with a internal fan. In addition, this external new 230watt power supply would power the Coleco ADAM printer when the printer was connected to the DB9 jack on the side of the power supply. One could leave the ADAM printer connected and hit the on/off switch on the printer when they wanted to turn on and off the printer. Since an external power supply was powering both the ADAM computer and the Coleco printer, the printer lasted longer since there was less heat occurring.

 

 

The 1983 Coleco ADAM printer is still working after 35 years. I just powered it on and the 35 year old ribbon and Daisy Wheel are still offering a letter quality print. I cannot say that is true for the many other printer technologies on the market after 35 years. However, there is a bug or unwanted feature in the SmartWriter program and/or all ADAM Printer firmware (This bug or unwanted feature occurs with all Coleco ADAM printers released). Every time the Coleco ADAM memory console is reset the printer advances the paper feed one space. Therefore, after one does several resets of the memory console the paper needs to be reloaded in the Coleco ADAM printer.  

 

I do have one correction to make to my prior post. Most and perhaps all 3rd party power supplies for the ADAM computer did not actually power the ADAM printer. Instead after testing what actually occurs is that the DB9 connector on the side of some third party ADAM Printer power supplies is for connecting of the ADAM printer for data communications only, and the printer remains off as long as the power switch on the back of the printer is off. However, as soon as one turns the printer power switch on (located on the back of the actual printer), what actually happens is the printer well not work unless the power cord is also plugged into the electrical outlet. Therefore, the ADAM printer still uses its own internal power supply when connected to a third party ADAM memory console power supply. Therefore, when one wants to use the ADAM printer they have to still turn it on and use the power supply built into the printer. However, the printer does run cooler when connected to a third party ADAM memory console power supply, because the internal printer power supply is only powering the printer and not powering the entire ADAM computer system.

 

I did notice one nice improvement about the ADAM printer when connected to a third party power supply. The DB9 connector on the power supply is wired in such a way that the bug or unwanted feature where the ADAM printer advances one space after each memory console reset no longer occurs anymore. This is a very nice improvement not to have to reload the paper after several memory console resets.   


Edited by HDTV1080P, Thu Aug 2, 2018 8:06 PM.


#52 NIAD OFFLINE  

NIAD

    Quadrunner

  • 6,267 posts
  • Location:Chicago Suburb

Posted Thu Aug 2, 2018 8:52 PM

Eve Electronics released two ADAM Computer Power Supplies:

 

The first was a stand alone power supply called the PS-1A which was a compact unit that powered the Memory Console, any Expansion Cards/Interfaces that where connected to it and the Keyboard. It did not offer an ADAM Printer connector. See pics.

 

The second was included in the VD-MB 80 Column Unit which also included numerous other expansion options internally and provided a 9-pin port for connecting the ADAM Printer. It powered the Printer so you did not have to plug the Printer's power cord into an outlet. See pics.

Attached Thumbnails

  • ADAM Eve PS-1A Power Supply - #01.JPG
  • ADAM Eve PS-1A Power Supply - #02.JPG
  • ADAM Eve PS-1A Power Supply - #03.JPG
  • ADAM Eve PS-1A Power Supply - #05.JPG
  • VD-MB 80 Column Expansion Unit (Front) - #02.jpg
  • VD-MB 80 Column Expansion Unit (Inside) - #01.jpg
  • VD-MB 80 Column Expansion Unit (Rear) - #01.jpg

Edited by NIAD, Thu Aug 2, 2018 8:53 PM.


#53 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

HDTV1080P

    Dragonstomper

  • Topic Starter
  • 879 posts

Posted Fri Aug 3, 2018 4:29 AM

Thanks for the pictures. I have never seen those power supplies before, only read about them in the EVE Electronics catalog. There is a possibility that the Eve VB-MB 80 Column Unit might have been the only third party power supply to power the ADAM printer. Technically any third party power supply can be modified and the DB9 connector on the power supply can power the ADAM printer. But to do so it is more complicated and one needs to use higher gauge cable on the DB9 connector since one is not only sending data to the printer over ADAMNET, but the power pins are sending voltage and current. 

 

Even this new September 2018 ADAM Memory console power supply that is scheduled to be released will not power the printer. http://smartbasic.ne...supply-project/

 

The Eve unit must have had some type of protection circuit built in so if one turned on the ADAM printer power supply, the power from the ADAM printer would never arrive to the memory console.

 

If I could go back in time I would purchase more Eve Electronics products in 1985 or 1986. I use to own a Eve Speech Synthesizer. Thanks again for the pictures and information.  


Edited by HDTV1080P, Fri Aug 3, 2018 4:37 AM.


#54 NIAD OFFLINE  

NIAD

    Quadrunner

  • 6,267 posts
  • Location:Chicago Suburb

Posted Fri Aug 3, 2018 4:00 PM

Well, I'll one up you... I had the VD-MB 80 up to around 1998 and I wish that I would have kept it.

Of course the 80 column video output for CP/M / T-Dos was the biggest selling point (Sol Swift released a version of SmartBasic and SwiftLink that displayed 80 columns), but what I really liked was being able to remove the SP-1, SP-1P and SS-CC Interface Cards from their housings and install in the VD-MB unit.

#55 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

HDTV1080P

    Dragonstomper

  • Topic Starter
  • 879 posts

Posted Fri Aug 3, 2018 4:11 PM

Yea I really like the expansion slots. The EVE VD-MB 80 somehow offered 5 internal expansion slots and the ADAM only offered 3 internal and 1 external. I wish Micro Innovations would have made something similar to this EVE unit. The biggest negative is the up front cost. People that paid $600-$800 for their ADAM would have purchased it. But in 1985-1986+ when people were getting ADAM''s for under $300 and sometimes under $200 on clearance below manufacturing cost, in general many of those consumers did not even want to spend $200 on a disk drive. The Micro Innovations memory expansder and MIB3 internal cards were popular because of their low price. Entry level internal cardss sometimes sold for around $30+.   


Edited by HDTV1080P, Fri Aug 3, 2018 4:15 PM.


#56 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

HDTV1080P

    Dragonstomper

  • Topic Starter
  • 879 posts

Posted Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:32 PM

Brief Coleco ADAM Memory Expander history  

 

For the 1983 ColecoVision ADAM Family Computer System, Coleco in 1984 released a 64K memory expander to increase the computer’s memory from 80K to 144K. After Coleco stopped making videogame and computer systems in January 1985, soon after third party companies started making 64K and larger Coleco ADAM compatible memory expanders. 256k, then 512K, then 1MB, and then 2MB Coleco ADAM memory expanders started to appear on the market. Many different third party hardware developers had between 64K to 1MB memory expanders for the Coleco ADAM computer including E and T and Micro Innovations. As far as I am aware only Micro Innovations offered a 2MB memory expander for the Coleco ADAM in the late 80’s or early 90’s. In addition, 2MB expanders was the largest memory expander that was offered for the Coleco ADAM. However, 1MB and lower was more common to own. I never had the opportunity to own a 2MB memory expander, since I think those 2MB memory expanders were only offered for around a year. By the time I was ready to purchase one I found out from Micro Innovations that the 2MB memory expanders for the ADAM had been discontinued. I was told that certain ADAM computers had problems with 2MB memory expanders, and it is my understanding that the Coleco ADAM printer power supply on some peoples systems had problems powering all 8 SIPP chip modules when a system is already loaded with many expansion cards already. Back in the 80’s and early 90’s it was very rare to own a third party power supply for the Coleco ADAM computer system. Those that did own a third party 230 watt PC style power supply for the ADAM computer had plenty of power for a 2MB or larger memory expander.

 

The following is a picture of a 1MB E and T Memory expander that was upgraded to a 64MB memory expander that uses 4 X 16 SIMM modules (However the problem is it well not physically fit in a ADAM computer unless the memory card is made from scratch)

 

I had a 1MB E and T Memory Expander lying around that uses 4 SIPP modules. Since 30 pin SIMM modules are 100% electrically compatible, higher capacity, and cheaper in price. I installed 4 SIMM sockets on a E and T Memory Expander and then placed a total of 64MB of memory on the expander (4 x 16MB =64MB). However, I soon discovered that the modified card would not fit in the ADAM computer because of height and longer length issues of the SIMM sockets. I was able to remove 3 SIMM sockets from the expander and just barely was able to fit the modified expander in my ADAM computer with a very tight fit and the one 16MB SIMM module was registering when running software that accessed the memory expander. But the problem is I had to unplug everything and could not test the full capacity of the 16MB module since everything was too tight. The only way to get SIMM modules to work correctly on the ADAM is to make a memory expander from scratch, then there would not be a space issue since the printed circuit board could be made longer. The E and T memory expander was never designed for the SIMM modules and sockets, but if a memory expander was designed from scratch one could fit 64MB or more memory in their ADAM.

 

In fact one could design a brand new ADAM memory expander that uses a SDXC cards and SDXC cards are much faster than the ADAM computer. Plus with 32GB to 2TB SDXC cards one could turn off their ADAM computer and the data would still be on the SDXC card.  

 

The following are before and after pictures of a modified E and T style memory expander with 64MB of memory installed (This is a example of a project that did not work out because of not enough physical space in the ADAM to fit all 4 SIMM sockets in the ADAM computer, one would have to design the memory expander from scratch to make it fit correctly).        

Attached Thumbnails

  • E AND T EXPANDER.JPG
  • E AND T BACK VIEW.JPG
  • 1MB (4 x 256K SIPPS).JPG
  • E and T with raised sockets.JPG
  • SIMM SOCKETS.JPG
  • 64MB (4 X 16MB SIMM'S).JPG

Edited by HDTV1080P, Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:59 PM.


#57 NIAD OFFLINE  

NIAD

    Quadrunner

  • 6,267 posts
  • Location:Chicago Suburb

Posted Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:03 PM

A 64K Memory Expander is plenty for normal ADAM use to insure that one could run all software that requires a Memory Expander.

 

A 256K Memory Expander is ideal as far as I am concerned, especially for those who just use EOS.

 

A 512K Memory Expander is more than enough for use on the ADAM by power users.

 

A 1MB Memory Expander would be overkill for anyone other than an ultra power-user of CP/M or T-DOS for running something like a BBS.



#58 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

HDTV1080P

    Dragonstomper

  • Topic Starter
  • 879 posts

Posted Sun Dec 23, 2018 6:47 PM

Walter’s Software SpellingAid special edition on a 3.5 inch disk with a large dictionary of words uses around 512K of the memory expander (256K is not enough for that program). Walter Software also has some EOS ram disk software that well allow users to use the entire 1MB memory expander for several different Coleco EOS programs and third party programs that well boot from the 1MB memory expander when its used as a solid state ram disk drive for the ADAM. Turning off the ADAM of course loses all the data in the memory expander.

 

I like using the 1MB or larger memory expanders with File Manager as a copy buffer. With a 1.44MB 3.5 inch disk or 1.44MB disk image from SD card, one needs a minimum of a 2MB memory expander to make one read and write pass when copying media. A 1MB memory expander is not large enough and the 1.44MB SD media has to be swapped twice when copying the program. Having two disk drives or two SD drives connected at once speeds up the copy process.

 

To this day I still wish I would have purchased that 2MB Micro Innovations memory expander for the ADAM computer, since I would have used it as a big ram disk and also as a 2MB copy buffer. If someone were to develop a 64GB SDXC card slot on a ADAM memory expander, then large hard drives full of data could be copied into the memory expander with one read pass and one write pass.


Edited by HDTV1080P, Sun Dec 23, 2018 6:51 PM.


#59 adamcon OFFLINE  

adamcon

    Moonsweeper

  • 337 posts
  • Location:Southwest Michigan

Posted Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:49 PM

Walter’s Software SpellingAid special edition on a 3.5 inch disk with a large dictionary of words uses around 512K of the memory expander (256K is not enough for that program). Walter Software also has some EOS ram disk software that well allow users to use the entire 1MB memory expander for several different Coleco EOS programs and third party programs that well boot from the 1MB memory expander when its used as a solid state ram disk drive for the ADAM. Turning off the ADAM of course loses all the data in the memory expander.

 

I like using the 1MB or larger memory expanders with File Manager as a copy buffer. With a 1.44MB 3.5 inch disk or 1.44MB disk image from SD card, one needs a minimum of a 2MB memory expander to make one read and write pass when copying media. A 1MB memory expander is not large enough and the 1.44MB SD media has to be swapped twice when copying the program. Having two disk drives or two SD drives connected at once speeds up the copy process.

 

To this day I still wish I would have purchased that 2MB Micro Innovations memory expander for the ADAM computer, since I would have used it as a big ram disk and also as a 2MB copy buffer. If someone were to develop a 64GB SDXC card slot on a ADAM memory expander, then large hard drives full of data could be copied into the memory expander with one read pass and one write pass.

Can appreciate the sentiment Shon, but I am still waiting for a cd hookup and a scanner; both of which are entirely possible with the technology we have had since the ADAM's conception.



#60 NIAD OFFLINE  

NIAD

    Quadrunner

  • 6,267 posts
  • Location:Chicago Suburb

Posted Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:24 PM

We are talking about the here and now, not 30 years ago when apps like SpellingAID were relevant. If someone was to use their Adam today for word processing, SpeedyWrite v2.0 with SpeedyWrite Spell Checking resident in memory for immediate spell checking while you type is a much better option than using SmartWriter to type in a document, save it, load SpellingAid and then wait a considerable amount of time for the dictionary to be copied to the Ramdisk.

Yes, I know all about Adams Desktop, PrBoot and or RamBoot by Walters. Again, fun to try them out, but not relevant anymore especially with the IDE CF Card Package available as well as the VDD.

Again, for anyone looking for a Memory Expander, see my post above.

#61 Mike Harris OFFLINE  

Mike Harris

    Chopper Commander

  • 246 posts

Posted Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:39 PM

The coleco vision graphics chip has a unique feature of tranparent background pixels. When mixed with an external video source the coleco vision can have its graphics overlaying real video. If they had some sort of video disc expansion, unique games could have been created using real video as a background. I would have expected the interface to go through the regular expansion port.

Laserdisc would have been ridiculously expensive for 1984. Games like Dragon's Lair and Space Ace have limited gameplay and little replay value. Such an addon would have been an expensive gimmick. Going into the later 1980s and after the end of the arcade golden age, the coleco vision would need more original games rather than depending on arcade conversions. And the coleco vision was attracting third party developers creating original games like "Fortune Builder" and "Alcazar: The Forgotten Fortress".

 

Here I am 2 years later.

It was going to be the RCA Selectavision CED which is different than a Laser disk player and much cheaper.
The basic player was around $150 or so dollars MONO no screen buffer for seek or pause.

I know I read about it in one of those magazines around 1983 and it was supposed to be able to use dragons lair.
Dates may be slightly off but that's what me and my friend did all day.
Hang at the mall bookstore and read far side, computer magazines then use smashed up pennies at Bally's Aladdin's Castle.

25 cents worth of pennies, smash with a hammer gives you 25 games.






0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users