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Coleco ADAM external HDMI video card that plugs into the side expansion


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#1 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 7:52 AM

Coleco ADAM external HDMI video card that plugs into the side expansion module

 

I have not looked at the schematics on the ADAM computer, however maybe it is possible for a hardware engineer to design a white HDMI expansion module box that plugs into the side expansion module on the ADAM computer. Then both standalone ADAM computer owners and ColecoVision owners with Expansion module #3 could have a HDMI output on their ADAM computer without needing to make internal hardware modifications. I have heard from some ADAM owners that one of the reasons why they did not pay around $270 to get their existing ADAM internally upgraded for the F18A video board is because of the possible risks involved in upgrading a system that is almost 35 years old (plus the F18A with HDMI is currently out of stock).

 

If it was possible to design an external HDMI video card for the ADAM computer it would cost more than the F18A. However, I believe ADAM owners would be more willing to upgrade to HDMI if they did not have to modify their existing internal ColecoVision video board.

 

The ADAM HDMI expansion module would plug into the side of the ADAM computer. It would be a white box that had a HDMI output port on the back. Possible a on/off button on top of the HDMI expansion module would turn the device on and off. The only reason why one would want to turn the HDMI expansion module off is if they wanted to use the ColecoVision’s composite video output for the Expansion module #1 Atari 2600 adapter. This also means the ADAM HDMI Expansion module would need to have a Expansion module interface on the side so that the OPCODE Supergame module and ATARI 2600 adapter can still be used. ColecoVision owners would want to use Expansion module #3 the ADAM computer with the HDMI adapter, since cosmetically plugging the HDMI expansion module in the front of the ColecoVision would not look good cosmetically. The ADAM computer can get away with this since the expansion is on the side.    

 

The big question is can digital binary video and audio data be sent out of the main side ADAM Expansion module interface? If the answer is yes then a hardware engineer could design an external HDMI graphics card for the ADAM computer. With special software the HDMI graphics card could turn on advanced features like native 16:9 and stereo sound for special new ColecoVision games. With a special flexible ribbon cable plugged directly into the ColecoVisions front Expansion, ColecoVision owners could also use the HDMI graphics card adapter. The HDMI graphics card adapter could be placed on the side of the ColecoVision instead of the front when using a modern flexible ribbon cable.

 

Personally I would purchase two HDMI expansion modules for the ColecoVision/ADAM for around $300+ each if this product existed. When ones ADAM computer breaks they just unplug the HDMI graphics card from the broken ADAM and plug it into a spare ADAM. This is a product that would be popular for both ColecoVision and ADAM owners.   


Edited by HDTV1080P, Tue Dec 5, 2017 8:04 AM.


#2 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 9:02 AM

Never going to happen. Too expensive to develop, probably would be just as expensive and not enough demand.

Just use an HDMI Upscaler to take the Composite Video output to HDMI. There are a number of people that I know who have done so and are happy enough with the improved video quality.

The F18a was not made as an Adam specific video upgrade as you know.

#3 AMenard OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 10:05 AM

The F18A, when available, cost $89 

You can register to be on the waiting list for the next batch. As of oct. 30 the list was at 70% of the required number for a run.



#4 Tarzilla OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 10:45 AM

Never going to happen. Too expensive to develop, probably would be just as expensive and not enough demand.

Just use an HDMI Upscaler to take the Composite Video output to HDMI. There are a number of people that I know who have done so and are happy enough with the improved video quality.

The F18a was not made as an Adam specific video upgrade as you know.

But in conjunction with all that new software written specifically to use the new wafer cracker drives there will be 10's of people interested...



#5 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 4:23 PM

Never going to happen. Too expensive to develop, probably would be just as expensive and not enough demand.

Just use an HDMI Upscaler to take the Composite Video output to HDMI. There are a number of people that I know who have done so and are happy enough with the improved video quality.

The F18a was not made as an Adam specific video upgrade as you know.

 

Yes since the ADAM is now almost 35 years old it most likely will never happen. However if one uses a similar case that was used for the OPCODE Supergame module, an external graphics card with a HDMI output might be possible for under $200. If it would work with the ColecoVision also the demand would be higher. Native component video and native HDMI looks better when compared to upscaling a composite video source to HDMI. Flat panel TV’s and A/V receivers with built in composite video inputs will also upscale the image to the displays native resolution and do the exact same job as a external HDMI upscaler.

 

The big quality difference in picture quality with the ColecoVison/ADAM is when native HDMI, VGA, and component video is used.

 

An interesting product would be a OPCODE Supergame module with a built in HDMI output. At this point it appears companies are working on designing ColecoVision compatible circuit boards with a built in HDMI output. Those completely new circuit boards are more in demand when compared to a external graphics card with a HDMI output.


Edited by HDTV1080P, Tue Dec 5, 2017 4:26 PM.


#6 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 4:57 PM

The F18A, when available, cost $89 

You can register to be on the waiting list for the next batch. As of oct. 30 the list was at 70% of the required number for a run.

The F18a with a native VGA 640 x 480 output is an excellent product for both ColecoVision and ADAM owners. However if I purchased this product I would go with the internal VGA to HDMI converter. I located a company that adds HDMI output to the ColecoVision for around $270 when the F18a is in stock. If I were to dig my soldering iron out and do the conversion myself then the price would be a lot cheaper.

 

I am on the fence regarding pre-ordering (or waiting list) this F18A video board that is backordered. I do not know if I want to risk modifying my ColecoVision/ADAM with a VGA and HDMI output (Plus there is issues of the ATARI 2600 adapter not working with the board). If the ColecoVision/ADAM breaks beyond repair in the years to come, then I would have to remove the F18a and solder another socket into a 35 year old ColecoVision/ADAM.

 

There are companies working on ColecoVision replacement boards with either component video or HDMI outputs. I might be better off using my existing standalone ADAM computer with composite video output until those projects are possible released. I also have a Expansion Module #3 ADAM computer that plugs into the ColecoVision (which is 100% compatible with all game cartridges). The standalone ADAM is only 99% compatible with all ColecoVision game cartridges (games like Defender need modified to work properly). The only reason why I currently am using the standalone ADAM computer once and awhile is because it has a native composite video output since 1983. The ColecoVision has to be modified for improved video output beyond RF channel 3 and 4.


Edited by HDTV1080P, Tue Dec 5, 2017 5:00 PM.


#7 Swami OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 5:03 PM

 

Yes since the ADAM is now almost 35 years old it most likely will never happen. However if one uses a similar case that was used for the OPCODE Supergame module, an external graphics card with a HDMI output might be possible for under $200. If it would work with the ColecoVision also the demand would be higher. Native component video and native HDMI looks better when compared to upscaling a composite video source to HDMI. Flat panel TV’s and A/V receivers with built in composite video inputs will also upscale the image to the displays native resolution and do the exact same job as a external HDMI upscaler.

 

The big quality difference in picture quality with the ColecoVison/ADAM is when native HDMI, VGA, and component video is used.

 

An interesting product would be a OPCODE Supergame module with a built in HDMI output. At this point it appears companies are working on designing ColecoVision compatible circuit boards with a built in HDMI output. Those completely new circuit boards are more in demand when compared to a external graphics card with a HDMI output.

 

Two new ColecoVision compatible consoles are probably coming out sometime from OpCode and CollectorVision. One of them may make it before the end of 2020. I think HDMI is a strong possibility for both, so I'm not sure if someone else would want to go out on a limb for this with the loss of interest in retro-conversion that would likely occur for most of the market. But who knows, someone may just do it for fun..........



#8 nick3092 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 5:51 PM

Im pretty sure the expansion port doesnt expose any video out signals that you would need to accomplish this. It was meant to take in audio and video sognals. I believe I t has audio out, but no video out.

The rest of the pins are mostly address lines I believe. Along with voltage pins, clock, and a pin that disables the stock video of the Coleco, so that it can pass through whatever is connected.

#9 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 6:21 PM

Since the external graphics card would not have analog outputs, there would not need to be analog video and audio coming from the expansion port. However the expansion port would need to be able to send digital data that the graphics card would then output as HDMI. If the data exists on the expansion port to form a digital video and audio signal then HDMI would be possible with a graphics card. However if there is only audio out with no digital video out from the expansion port, then this would be a major issue. There are also 3 internal expansion ports on the ADAM computer, but the side expansion port should have the most options.



#10 Milli Vee OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 8, 2017 4:14 PM

I am not totally up on the hardware (yet) but for this to even work you would have to have a system that could access the video ram via the expansion bus which even the onboard z80 can not do. You are better off trying to upscale the composite out

 

Milli



#11 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 9, 2017 4:42 AM

Back in the 80's the ADAM computer had 80 column video output to a 80 column terminal when using programs like CP/M 2.2 or TDOS. The external 80 column terminal would connect to the ADAM computers RS-232 port adapter that was plugged into one of the internal expansion ports. The RS-232 port on the ADAM would send data to the terminal. These were text only terminals, I do not think anyone used a color graphics RS-232 terminal on the ADAM. However there is no reason why with special software a color graphics RS-232 terminal cannot be used on the ADAM computer. If data can be sent over RS-232 to a color terminal on the ADAM, then why not a HDMI port on the ADAM with a special graphics card connected to a HDMI monitor? Possible a SD card might need to install a new operating system with the correct drivers to run the new HDMI graphics card with standard EOS ADAM and ColecoVision games.   


Edited by HDTV1080P, Sat Dec 9, 2017 4:43 AM.


#12 AMenard OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 9, 2017 5:43 AM

Back in the 80's the ADAM computer had 80 column video output to a 80 column terminal when using programs like CP/M 2.2 or TDOS. The external 80 column terminal would connect to the ADAM computers RS-232 port adapter that was plugged into one of the internal expansion ports. The RS-232 port on the ADAM would send data to the terminal. These were text only terminals, I do not think anyone used a color graphics RS-232 terminal on the ADAM. However there is no reason why with special software a color graphics RS-232 terminal cannot be used on the ADAM computer. If data can be sent over RS-232 to a color terminal on the ADAM, then why not a HDMI port on the ADAM with a special graphics card connected to a HDMI monitor? Possible a SD card might need to install a new operating system with the correct drivers to run the new HDMI graphics card with standard EOS ADAM and ColecoVision games.



communication over RS232 is a bit on the slow side compared to the way the z80 and the graphic chip dispaly works...

#13 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 9, 2017 3:51 PM

communication over RS232 is a bit on the slow side compared to the way the z80 and the graphic chip dispaly works...

However one can internally place a F18A with a HDMI output on the ADAM internally on the ColecoVision board inside the ADAM. What is stopping one from doing the same thing with a expansion card? Is it a speed issue where the expansion port is not fast enough versus a direct connection to the ColecoVision board being much faster?


Edited by HDTV1080P, Sat Dec 9, 2017 3:52 PM.


#14 5-11under OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 9, 2017 4:02 PM

What is stopping one from doing the same thing with a expansion card?

 

Lack of need?



#15 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 9, 2017 4:11 PM

 

Lack of need?

So it might be technically possible for a external HDMI graphics card plugged into one of the expansion ports, but the demand most likely is not high enough for a computer system that is almost 35 years old. The ADAM computer is more powerful then the ColecoVision since it has Supergames (Some of those ADAM Supergmaes in recent years have been ported over to the ColecoVision with the invention of cartridges that can handle up to 512KB and larger space. However games like Family Feud and Jeopardy that use a full computer keyboard have not been ported over yet). There is talk of making ColecoVision clones and a improved ColecoVision II. However there does not seem to be a demand to make a ADAM clone or a improved ADAM called ADAM II or EVE. The reason appears to be that most people that are still using their ADAM are using it mainly for classic video games and are not interested in Smartwriter word processor, Smartfilier, and other computer applications. People have Windows PC's that are a lot better for word processing.  


Edited by HDTV1080P, Sat Dec 9, 2017 4:15 PM.


#16 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Yesterday, 10:20 AM

Please lock this thread already!




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